Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 8
July 3, 2016
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1901 ASV Translation:
5 For if we have become united with [him] in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of his resurrection;
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;
7 for he that hath died is justified from sin.
8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;
9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him.
10 For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.
- I. Paul's Concept of "Baptism into Christ Jesus".
- A. The words Paul used in Romans 6:5 ("we have become united with Him") are as precise a definition of his concept of "baptism into" Him as is to be found.
- 1. They are in the immediate context and argument.
- 2. They are used in direct parallelism with 6:4 and its "baptism into The Death" and "so also...we should walk in newness of [resurrection] Life".
- B. The use of "united" or "planted together" is an interesting factor: it isn't a widely used word in Greek, and it is only used the in New Testament in this one instance.
- 1. The word was coined by putting a prefix ("together with") on a verb that signifies what happens when a seed germinates and sends its initial green sprout up out of the soil.
- 2. The resultant idea is that two entities have been so combined as to produce a single germination and sprout.
- C. The particular direction of this thought is given: combined together to produce a plant in specific reference to "The Death of" the Christ. In other words, when Christ was "germinated" to "sprout" into the Life that was designed to lead to The Death, we were already "combined together" in Him for this "Life/Death" reality.
- 1. The words behind the translation consist of a perfect tense verb ("we have become") and an adjective ("combined together"), indicating that Paul sees the issue as having roots in the past with results continuing through the present.
- 2. At issue is the reality that once "faith" has been exercised in a genuine, historic, past point, they who exercised it have become combined together with the Christ.
- II. The Particular Focus.
- A. Once again the focus is upon "The Death" of Christ Jesus.
- B. And, once again, the consequent "union" in The Death is moved directly and immediately into the subsequent reality: His resurrection.
- III. The Cautionary Fact.
- A. Paul says not "we are", but "we shall be". This is an interesting point in that he has clearly been attempting to get us to see ourselves as "united together with Him in resurrection".
- B. Paul's thesis is that "if" we "believe" in our inevitable future in resurrection together with Christ, we shall now be able to live in newness of life. Once we have been resurrected, this point will be moot.
- IV. The Required "Knowing".
- A. As with the previous "ignorance" thesis of the question in 6:3, this text says that we must be "knowing" something crucial.
- B. That which is to be known is that a crucial fact is true so that we are no longer "to serve The Sin".
- 1. In the context, "The Sin" is Adam's "disbelief" that resulted in two concrete results: it set the "inhabitant(s)" of "the body" under the fear of death so that motives are always "all about me" in terms of fear-driven lives; and it gave "the spirit that now works in the sons of the disbelief" a beachhead to launch regular assaults upon a weakened soul so that the "spirit" could produce its agenda.
- 2. This raises the issue of the specific identity of "our old man" who was co-crucified.
- a. The same terminology is used in Ephesians 4:22 where Paul urges a "putting off" of the former behavior of "the old man" and 4:24 where he urges a "putting on" of "the new man".
- 1) In this context Paul declares that "the old man" "is being corrupted" (present, passive, participle) so that there is an on-going "corruption".
- 2) This "on-going" fact indicates that this is not the historic "Adam" from whom we received the original corruption, both physical and spiritual. The indication is that the original corruption set up an "old man/us" reality that progressively degenerates at the "old man" level.
- b. And Colossians 3:9 also uses the same terminology, "...seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds".
- c. Thus, with our current text, we are inclined toward the identity, not of "our old man" as "Adam" by whom we were constituted sinners, but the consequent inner reality that is at the base of our active bondage to sin. The most likely inner reality is that which is declared in Ephesians 2:2; a "spirit" that actively works in the "sons of The Unbelief" in a union with the "us", so that there is an "our old man".
- 1) This "old man/new man" terminology is a part of the intricacy of "identities" to which Paul addresses himself in Romans 7 with the "I sin, but no longer I" comments.
- 2) This terminology clearly indicates a "unity" that is "I" who sin and a "singularity" that is "not I". Thus, the "old man" is that aspect of a unity that includes "I" and the "new man" is the same kind of a new unity. In other words, there is the essential "me" that is a specific "singularity" and a composite "me" that is a "unity" of two essentials.
- d. The reason this entity is called "our old man" is that the "man" aspect indicates the "head" of the "unity" and the provider of the "sperm/power" to that "unity" so that the "body" produces "children" which are the overt actions taken by that "body".
- 2. The "destruction" of "the body of The Sin".
- a. The use of the word translated "might be destroyed" in Romans.
- 1) In 3:3 it is used to counter the idea that "unbelief" somehow makes "the faith of God without effect". The translators obviously thought that the issue was not "destruction", per se, but a kind of "nullification" at the level of effectiveness.
- 2) In 3:31 it is used in a similar way regarding the question of whether, in fact, "faith" "nullifies" the point of "Law".
- 3) In 4:14, this idea of nullifying the impact (in this case, of "promise") is again front and center.
- 4) In 7:2 the idea is of making a person exempt from a given law so that it does not apply to that person and circumstance.
- 5) In 7:6 "exemption" is again the point.
- b. Thus we conclude that "the body of The Sin" is not "destroyed" in terms of "existence" but in terms of being effective in its pursuits.
- 1) The Sin needs a slave to make its objectives "appear" in the physical realm. Deny the possession of the slave and "The Sin" is rendered impotent as to its intentions.
- 2) At issue is Paul's "the body of The Sin": what is the meaning of this phrase?
- a) In all of the Scriptures, a "body" is an instrument of revelation of an inner spirit in terms of "physical activities"...the activities reveal the nature and intentions of that inner spirit.
- b) When the "body" is removed from the dominion of the "spirit", the "spirit" can no longer manifest itself by controlling the actions of the "body".
- c) The "co-crucifixion" of "our old man" simply means that the "body" that served this "old man" has been removed from his dominion/authority. Typically, this occurs at the physical level when the body's ability to function is degraded to the point that the spirit is forced to separate from it. Since our physical bodies continue to have functional capacity, this cannot be Paul's meaning. Rather, he means that there is now a new "spirit" within it that can counter the dominion of the "spirit of The Unbelief" that has formerly been in complete control. With this new "spirit" within, the body is now "a body of righteousness". But, the mechanism for this new reality is "faith", not physical life/death. Thus, the barrier against the "old man" is one of "faith" whereby "I" present my body to a new "Lord" and, by that, refuse permission to the "old man" to use my body for his sinful intentions. And this "faith" is most fundamentally addressed toward the indwelling Spirit of Christ and His promise of Eternal Life, thus restricting "the fear of death" from being involved in my motives.